Brooklyn born and raised duo, Of Clocks And Clouds, lie somewhere between epic electronic and driving, grounded rock. They're calling their sound alternative electronic rock on the fence of trip rock. But generalizing OCAC into a specific genre does their unique sound a disservice.
They're not fresh in the way that a shoegaze band can sound like fresh rain even in the muskiest clubs, they're the kind of fresh you feel when you finally eat a juicy, substantial hamburger after a week of pretending you like salads.
Joe Salgo (vocals, guitars, synths and bass), says him and Ross Procaccio (drums, ambient guitars and backup vocals) are the farthest thing from trendy.
"We just bought skinny jeans, but we've yet to put them on," Salgo said.
The band began with Salgo writing songs on his laptop. Then by a turn of fate, he met Procaccio while subbing for a band member. The next day Procaccio quit his band and formed Of Clocks And Clouds with Salgo.
So you both grew up in Brooklyn, but being a band in the scene right now, what is that like?
A little intimidating to be honest. It’s a huge market, and we’re small fish in a very very massive, pond, we’re in an ocean here. It’s not like we grew up in Montana or anything, where the whole town knows who you are and goes out to your shows. Being in Brooklyn, it’s pretty frustrating. Nobody knows you, it’s a lot harder. There’s a lot more to climb.
It’s interesting being from the place in the world where everyone wants to live all of a sudden. When we were growing up it really wasn’t a place. Now there’s definitely a lot more opportunities that came about being raised here but it’s just so saturated as well. It’s just about trying to find the right people who understand what we’re doing and who believe in us. There’s plenty of those people who are here. it’s just getting it to them.
What kind of bands are you inspired by?
Ross: I think we both have our own individual inspirations. Before playing with Joe, my cousin got me into really, really cheesy early 2000’s metal like Mudvayne, it’s really embarrassing to talk about right now.
Joe: I got more involved into music in high school. I had a really great band teacher, I started taking private lessons. and kind of went more towards jazz but one of the bands I started to play with was more rock. I became a big Zeppelin fan too. In high school i got my first car and I had one of the Zeppelin CDs stuck in my car and all i could do if I forgot my iPod was listen to that CD or listen to horrible New York City radio. I mean it’s pretty hard to find anything good on the radio here these days. It used to be alright
Rob: It used to be great
Ross: Now it’s all top 40 stuff. But yeah, a lot of Zeppelin, a lot of classic rock, a lot of old school jazz, some weird post rock like Dntel...Explosions in the Sky, stuff like that. We both listen to tons of different music but definitely Pink Floyd, Flaming Lips, and also Nirvana. They have that punk idea that anything can happen but also psychedelic and warm and interesting sound. Joe's also a little older so he grew up with a lot of Pearl Jam.
With this album, what was the recording process like and was there an over-arching theme to it?
Ross: We wanted it to sound like it’s just us, because it is just us playing everything, but we didn’t want to limit ourselves necessarily just because we couldn’t pull it off live. With our live show we’re limited with two people but with the recording process and technology advances, why not use the tools that come in hand.
Joe: Basically I came to Ross with the skeleton and we assembled the body slowly. One song at a time asking ourselves, ‘is this the arm or is the femur?’ The way the album came out and assembled, it has an arc. it flows as an album.
There’s this huge span of style on the album, I think a lot of artists try to do that you but you still have your identity that can be shown in each one of your songs.
Joe: I think when it comes down to it, it’s me and Ross playing guitar and drums, we’re both contributing our production styles, we have different styles and combine them.
One of the songs ”What’s The Matter?” has some really interesting sounds...
Joe: That would be Reason, my computer program, it was one of the presets and me just messing around in my room one nights. I came up with one of those things that sound like an eerie Christmas song. We just played a show in New Jersey Saturday but that was one of the songs that most landed with people. They just got it.
It has that TV on the Radio vibe and influence. It starts with a little bit of hip-hop and then becomes rock with crazy silly sounds in the background.
How do you know when an audience gets it?
Joe: When you’re playing in front of people you can really feel their energy. You can feel when they start to pull away and come closer, even if they don’t move you can feel their energy. You have to be receptive to that.
I was telling Ross, we took some time off playing shows and promoting the album, that was the missing piece in our performance, was an audience.
What's next for you guys?
Joe: Just promote the hell out of this album. We want it to be heard by as many people as possible. We starting to book a mini Northeast tour for July and will follow up with some new recordings. We’re thinking about doing some cover songs to get that out there and gar a little attention that way. We probably have another album and a half of music that we can record. It’s just a matter of working on the songs so they’re flushed out completely.